Amazon Dips Its Toes in the PC Component Market

E-commerce giant Amazon is expanding into the PC component market with its Amazon Basics CPU cooler. Even if the $26 run-of-the-mill tower air cooler isn’t about to take the PC market by storm, it may signal future interest in the PC gaming space from Amazon.

Imitation Game
Amazon isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel here. It’s a unremarkable budget CPU fan with RGB that’s compatible with a wide range of AMD and Intel sockets. In fact, Amazon appears to have struck a deal to sell an existing third-party product under its private label. The dead giveaway, as noted by Tom’s Hardware, is that the “Amazon Basics Computer Cooling Fan” not only looks eerily similar to Cooler Master’s Hyper H410R RGB, but has a nearly identical part number (RR-H410-20PC-AS versus RR-HR40-20PC-R1).

  • Amazon’s $26 price is significantly lower than Newegg’s $66 Cooler Master’s listing.
  • Cooler Master does have similar products that are more comparable in price.
Gaming Brought to You by Amazon
This cooler isn’t Amazon’s first stab at hardware targeted at gamers. A glance at the Amazon Basics page will turn up peripherals from a gaming desk, to the Amazon Basics Pro Gaming Mouse, or even monitors aimed at casual gamers on a tight budget. None of these peripherals are reinventing the wheel – the monitors, for example, are manufactured by AOC  – but they’re on the less expensive end and have Amazon’s instant name recognition. There is also the potential for established gaming brands to make a little extra revenue licensing some of their products as "generics."
Putting Pressure on Smaller Players
Amazon has very publicly attempted to carve out a spot in the gaming software and services market, with its Luna cloud gaming service and titles such as New World. These hardware plans, however, are an entirely different ball of wax. Amazon may not be aiming to unseat a company like Corsair or Razer, but gaming brands – particularly smaller ones selling simpler gaming components and peripherals – should still take note. These are the ones who will find themselves competing most directly with Amazon Basics products.

  • Inside Advantage: Amazon can stack the deck in its favor when it lists its own products, on top of its history of using Amazon sales data to gain an upper hand for its private label products.
  • Name Recognition: One of the greatest challenges to entry for PC gamers is the overwhelming roster of brands. Amazon’s near unmatchable name recognition easily cuts through this noise – especially for newer or less knowledgeable gamers.
  • Deep Pockets: Amazon is a massive company with resources many gaming hardware brands could only dream of.
Don’t Expect an Amazon Basics PC
This entrance into the PC component market doesn’t mean Amazon is going to begin offering an Amazon Basics Gaming PC. Perhaps an Amazon Basics-branded PC case or gamepad could be next, but components like “Amazon Basics” video cards or RAM are probably not worth the effort given how niche hardware gaming is compared to something like furniture. Amazon has also previously found itself in regulatory hot water over its private label products, and push come to shove, the company would likely jettison them to avoid the fines and legal headaches.

Featured image: Amazon